Saturday, August 22, 2009

Conservatives for Patients' Rights Will Hammer Obama During Martha's Vinyard Vacation

From the Washington Post, "Critical Ads To Follow Obama on Vacation" (via Memeorandum):

Seeking to ensure that President Obama has a less-than-restful vacation, a group opposed to the White House's health-care proposals is launching an ad campaign this week that will run locally during his stay at Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

Conservatives for Patients' Rights says it plans to run a spot titled "Surf's Up" in the Martha's Vineyard and Boston areas that implores the president to drop his pursuit of a public health insurance option. The ad is the latest salvo in a multimillion-dollar message war over the fate of health reform that has shown no sign of abating, even during the normally quiet final weeks of summer.

"The beach is nice this time of year," the ad's narrator begins. "But while President Obama vacations, concerns mount about his health-care plan. Why? Because his public-option health plan could lead to government-run health care, higher taxes on everything from paychecks to soda, and add a trillion to the deficit. Mr. President, when you go back to D.C., drop your government-run public-option plan. Let's get on with real reform to lower costs and protect patients' rights."

The group said it has laid out "more than $150,000" for the ad campaign, a relatively small amount given that more than $60 million has been spent on health-care ads this year, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group. But CPR hopes to make its dollars count by putting the ad on the air in front of Obama, his staff and the traveling White House press corps. The group made a point of buying time during next week's series between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox, Obama's favorite baseball team.

"While President Obama is vacationing in the surf at Martha's Vineyard, Americans are growing increasingly anxious that the public option will raise costs, not lower them," said Rick Scott, a former hospital chief executive who chairs CPR. "He should drop the public-option plan and go back to the drawing board."

On Wednesday, Scott sent out an internal memo, published on (a Washington Post Co. Web site), warning that "the public option isn't dead yet" and pledging to keep up the pressure on Obama with a "Martha's Vineyard ad strategy."
The White House is trying to deligitimize Rick Scott, who left the Hospital Corporation of America under a cloud. (Mother Jones ran a big expose on Scott in July, "Public Option Enemy No. 1.") And actually, the administration's pushback against Scott and CPR might well have been effective, were it not for the fact that Barack Obama himslef has brought to Washington arguably the most corrupt administation in presidential history.

More at the Astute Bloggers, "SURF'S UP, BUT OBAMACARE IS DOWN."